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Third Grade Guarantee

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee Q & A

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee requires school districts and community schools to diagnose reading deficiencies in students at grades kindergarten through three, create individualized Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans (RIMPs) and provide intensive reading interventions. The goal is to have all students reading on grade level. This Q & A has been created in an effort to help families understand this law and the impact it can have on their child.

Q:    Which students need to be assessed?  
A:    An English Language Arts (ELA) diagnostic assessment must be given by September 30 of each year for students in grades 1-3 and November 1st for kindergarten. 

Q:    What assessments will be used?
A:    Green Local Schools will use Acadience Reading K-6 as a diagnostic assessment for grades kindergarten through three. Information gathered will be used to monitor student growth and assist with the planning of instruction.  Students will take the Acadience Reading assessment in the fall, winter, and spring each year.

Q:     When will I know if my child is considered on track or not on track?  
A:    Diagnostic results will be shared with parents during Fall Conferences. If the diagnostic assessment shows that the student is not on-track, schools must provide the parents, in writing: 

  • Notice that the school has identified a reading deficiency with their child; 
  • A description of current services provided to the student; 
  • A description of proposed supplemental instruction services; 
  • Notice that Ohio’s state test in grade 3 English language arts for third-grade reading is not the only measure of reading competency; and 
  • Notice that unless the student attains the appropriate level of reading competency by the end of Grade 3, the student will be retained. 

Q:      How will I know if my child did well on the assessment?
A:    A benchmark goal indicates a level of skill at which students are likely to achieve the next benchmark goal or reading outcome. Thus, for students who achieve a benchmark goal, the odds are in their favor of achieving later reading outcomes.  Students not meeting the benchmark scores below may be in need of additional assistance and placed on a Reading Intervention and Monitoring Plan (RIMP).

Acadience Benchmark Goal Fall Winter Spring
Kindergarten 26 122 119*
1st Grade 113 130 155
2nd Grade 141 190 238
3rd Grade 220 285 330

*Note: Kindergarten Spring score dips due to complexity of spring assessment.

Q:        What actually is a Reading Intervention and Monitoring Plan (RIMP)?
A:        Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans allow the teachers and parents to work together
            to understand the reading deficiency and to outline reading interventions focused on
            addressing the student’s reading deficiency and helping the student read on grade level.  

Q:       What makes up a Reading Intervention and Monitoring Plan?  
A:       The reading intervention and monitoring plan shall include:

  • Identification of the student’s specific reading deficiency; 
  • A description of proposed supplemental instruction services that will target the student’s identified reading deficiencies; 
  • Opportunities for the student’s parents or guardians to be involved in the instructional services which will take place during fall teacher/parent conferences; 
  • A process to monitor the implementation of the student’s instructional services; 
  • A reading curriculum during regular school hours that assists students to read at grade level, provides for reliable assessments, and provides ongoing analysis of each student’s reading progress; and 
  • A statement that unless the student attains the appropriate level of reading competency by the end of Grade 3, the student will be retained. 

Q:      How can third grade students meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee?  
A:     Students will take the English Language Arts Assessment in November and April.  For the 2020-2021 school year, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee promotion score on Ohio’s English Language Arts Assessment is 683. Any student who scores 683 or higher on the English Language Arts scaled score will be eligible for promotion at the end of the year. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education has set the reading subscore alternative promotion score for the grade 3 English language arts test at 46 for the 2020-2021 school year. Any student who scores 46 or higher on the reading subscore will be eligible for promotion at the end of the year, even if the student scores below 683 on the English language arts test.

Students who demonstrate reading competency on a Reading Alternative approved by the Ohio Department of Education.  Green Local Schools will use MAP as the Reading Alternative assessment. Students may demonstrate reading competency by scoring a RIT score of 194 on the MAP assessment. Students take the MAP assessment in the fall, winter, and spring beginning in 1st grade. The chart below provides projected proficiency scores.

Projected Proficiency on Ohio’s State ELA Test based on Student MAP Performance

Grade/Assessment Fall RIT Winter RIT Spring RIT
KG – MAP for Primary K – 2 141 151 158
1 – MAP for Primary K - 2 161 172 178
2 – MAP for Grades 2 – 5 175 184 189
3 – MAP for Grades 2 – 5 189 196 **199


Q:    What happens at the end of the school year if my third grader does not achieve a passing score on Ohio’s state test in grade 3 English language arts?                            
A:    2020-2021 OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION - PROMOTION UPDATE
Under newly enacted legislation for the 2020-2021 school year (Section 18 of House Bill 164 of the 133rd General Assembly), no district, community school, STEM school or chartered nonpublic school shall retain a student in the third grade who does not meet the promotion score of 683 on the Ohio’s State Test for grade 3 English language arts if the student's principal and reading teacher agree that other evaluations of the student's skills in reading demonstrate the student is academically prepared to be promoted to the fourth grade. This provision applies to students who are in third grade for the 2020-2021 school year and would be enrolling in the fourth grade for the 2021-2022 school year, unless retained.

Q:    What if I have additional questions regarding the Third Grade Reading Guarantee?
A:    Parents are encouraged to go to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) website http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Literacy/Third-Grade-Reading-Guarantee for more information regarding the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  

Updated January 2021